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The road from Denbigh to Prion/Saron/Llanrhaeadr, which passes the front of the

former hospital, crosses the river Ystrad at Pont Ystrad, which is a listed building.
It then climbs a very steep hill that was known in my youth as Ystrad Hill. In the post
war period of very old bikes without gears it was a challenge to ride up this hill and
because of the paucity of traffic by comparison with today, we achieved this by zigzagging across the road to ascend it. At Pont Ystrad, sheep were dipped in the river
just under the bridge and the chemicals used killed loads of fish downstream. The
field to the right of the bridge was a favourite spot for picnics and about 100yds
upstream from the Bridge were the remains of an old building that contained several
pieces of machinery, bolted to the stone foundations. This was one of a number of
mills in the area known locally as Kings Mills. Some were used for the grinding of
grain and the others were Woollen Mills. Welsh speakers referred to them as Felin
Uchaf (Upper Mill meaning upstream), Felin Ganol (Middle Mill) and Felin Isaf
(Lower Mill) now known as Brookhouse Mill.
This link should help explain
At the top of Ystrad Hill is a farm called Y Llys (The Court) and in the grounds is the
remains of a Motte and Bailey castle. To the west is Caeau Gwynion Farm and old
welsh poetry contains references to King Arthur battling Saxon Invaders at a place
called Caeau Gwynion (The Fair Fields). At the top of Ystrad Hill if you take the first
left you will descend back down to the Ystrad down the valley side. On your right is
Ystrad Hall and if you look carefully to your right at the wall you will see a room in
the wall where water flows throughout the year. Some spoke of this as a site of a Holy
Well and there used to be a gate on it and milk churns were left there to cool on hot
summer days. The road re-crosses the Ystrad again at this point over Pont Felin
The mill itself is now a private dwelling house and can be seen on Google Earth as a
yellow ochre painted, rendered building now with its own entrance from the road.
The hot dry summer of 1976 and the resulting ground shrinkage saw the emergence of
several archaeological features. One of these was the outline shape of a road that
appeared to come north up the Vale of Clwyd and crossed the Ystrad near Felin
Ganol. It then continued across the Parks, Howells playing fields, St Davids small
churchyard, Park Street, Vale Street, the former DGS site to Cae Fron. Here it turned
sharp right and went to St Asaph, crossing en route the Trefnant to Henllan road
where its remains could be clearly seen.
The Latin word Strada meant road or way (Italian Motorway is Autostrada. It is more
than likely that Ystrad is derived from Strada and became Y Strad. Later this became
street but probably in that form it came via Saxon/German, Strasse. One can see the
connection with Y stryd in later Welsh.